Making a right choice when choosing a bookmaker to bet with is an essential step for successful online betting. The following are all the important factors you should bear in mind when choosing an online bookmaker:
Financial solidity and stability
The most important question for an online bettor should be: "How do I choose a bookmaker that I can trust?" This is the first and the most important factor you should consider, all the other factors are worthless compare to this one. A bookmaker is like a bank, it's a place you trust with your money. A financially solid and stable bookmaker won’t have any problem to release your winnings whenever you want to.
There are plenty of indications that you can look at to determine whether a bookmaker is financially solid and stable. If it’s a publicly held company, you can look at financial statements and balance sheets. If it’s a private company, you have only indirect indications. A good idea would be to consider how many years it’s been operating in iGaming industry and how they have been building their reputation.
You better make sure that bookmaker operates from a country where online gambling is legal and the government regulates and oversees on a certain level. The authority should govern the release of bookmakers' licenses with strict requirements to establish and maintain operation, alongside with background checks of top management. See our section on jurisdictions to find reviews of the best countries and a list of high risk locations.
The bookmaker should be easily accessible via e-mail, telephone or live chat. Customer service representative should be fluent in your language and be able to handle more complex matters. Customer Service should be efficient, responsive, acknowledged about betting in general and their company policies in particular. They should treat customers in a polity and professional way – not template based answers. More established bookmakers offer 24-hour help desk so you should have any problem you can reach them even at night.
There a lot of methods to transfer money to and from a bookmaker, and many differences in transaction policy and fee as well. Before opening an account, make sure that bookmaker offers to transfer money by the method you prefer and its associated fee. Check our section on payment methods to find the option that might work the best for you.
The website should be fast, reliable, easy and convenient to use with intuitive and user-friendly layout. The use of excellent security technology to ensure the privacy and safety of customers' transactions is a must. Things such as graphics, design layout, how features are displayed are just matters of preference.
Watch our “Sportsbook Video Tour” and also spend some time navigating and practicing around the site before signing up. Make sure you read and understand terms, conditions and regulations. If you are rank as beginner, you might find useful help sections with comprehensive and quality description of various sports and bets rules. The website should provide all the relevant information you need to feel comfortable, including a support phone number to contact in the event the site will be unavailable or down for technical or other reasons.
You should make sure the bookmaker offers the sports and bet types you want to bet on. Competition dictates to international bookies to be creative in their offers, but you should not assume they all offer the same range of sports and bet types. Do not jump to conclusions from just a quick perusal of the bookmaker's homepage. Dig around in the betting section of their websites, e-mail or call them to get more details about their betting options.
When a bookmaker takes a position on a particular line against other bookies consensus that is an opinionated line. Opinionated lines mean attractive odds for players. The importance of getting the best prices is not in discussion, as it represents the players' real chance to be profitable long term.
To find opinionated lines depends on the sports and betting style you are into. That is because a bookmaker may have "opinions" in some sports and offer consensus lines in others or it may usually deal in better lines for the favourites rather than the underdogs. You can find out which bookmakers offer consistently opinionated lines, using one of the odds comparison services that have sprung up online in the last couple of years. Always make sure to double check the availability of the same odds at the bookie's website as well.
Average Payout – Margin
The margin is the commission kept by the bookmaker for its services. As for opinionated lines, the importance of getting the best numbers is not in discussion and you should keep in mind that the margin affects all the lines and not just the few that are opinionated. The less the commission percentage, the lower the break-even point, the better for the player that is more likely to win in long term. While a lower commission might not seem much at first thought, compounded over many bets it can make a lot of difference even for recreational bettors, for which the difference between profit and loss at the end of the year might be in only few percentage points.
Style of betting and betting limits
Before you sign-up with any bookmaker, ensure the bookmaker suits your betting style and has limits within your bets size, these being both minimums and maximums. Recreational players usually don’t require high limits rather prefer higher bonus offers, while professional players or sharp bettors need higher limits and opinionated lines. There are only a few bookies that welcome all styles of betting - most bookmakers will lower your limits if you are winning or if you bet according to some patterns or styles such as arbitrage betting (sure bets).
Bonuses and promotions
Free bets or deposit bonuses are offered by bookies to attract new players or retain current customers. However, to assess the real value of a bonus or a promotion there are multiple factors to mind such as rollover, wagering and minimum odds requirements. To avoid any misunderstandings or disputes with bookie please read full T&C that can vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. If these are not clear to you then rather contact customer service to straight them up. Lastly, you should never choose bookmaker based on bonus offer stand alone.
Before you sign up for online bookmaker please check our bookmaker reviews and comments first!
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Check our bookmaker reviews section where you can go through our list of bookmakers, browse and compare bookmakers according to what they have to offer, starting from basic information like the history, licensing, languages and sports offered, available deposit and withdrawal options, acceptance of US players, availability of mobile or live betting and much more. For even more in-depth analysis you can watch bookmaker "Video Review" and its sportsbook site tour!
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